On lap 39 at 2:13 p.m. EST, the 56th annual Daytona 500 was red-flagged as light rain fell from the sky.
A steady rain has continued to fall, with NASCAR sending the Air Titan track drying system on track at 4:17 p.m. EST. However, the rain stopped around 6:30 and NASCAR has been working since to get the racing surface dry to finish off the biggest race of the season.
NASCAR announced at approximately 7 p.m. that they are planning to resume the race at 8:30 p.m. EST. NASCAR allowed teams to send out two crew members to remove the tarps from the cars, clean windshield, remove tape and hook up generators at 8 p.m. EST. NASCAR added that teams will be allowed to adjust tire pressure closer to the restart time and drivers also can change visor on their helmet.
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is the current leader after starting 37th due to a poor qualifying effort. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series opener on Friday night. Kasey Kahne is second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Brian Vickers and Paul Menard.
So far, the race has been slowed by a pair of cautions with the first caution flying due to debris after Kyle Larson got into the outside wall. The second caution would fly at lap 35 for Martin Truex Jr. blowing his motor.
“Super disappointing,” Truex said, who was competing in his first points race for Furniture Row Racing. “I mean it’s definitely a tough break for the team. The car was super-fast today and I went to bed last night thinking that this was my best shot ever to win the Daytona 500. The car was just so good and we were just riding around, biding our time, being patient and trying to get to the end of this thing.”
Truex Jr. qualified second for the race and was scheduled to start on the front row, though had to start the race in the rear due to being involved in a wreck in the Budweiser Duel.